Planning your day – Jerry Gore’s tips for lock-down
- Thursday 26th March 2020
Based in France, Jerry Gore is not only further down the self-isolation road than many but he knows how to stay positive when the going gets tough.
A former officer in the Royal Marines, Jerry - the co-founder of ACTION4DIABETICS as well as owner-operator of AlpBase - has some great ideas on how to structure our days and what to do so that we are well-placed to handle the stresses and strains of the current lock-down.
As we said in an earlier post when the lock-down was introduced it’s important that we all establish a daily routine to help ensure our personal well-being. Jerry starts by outlining his underlying philosophy with some general advice then offers twelve specific tips on what to do during the days ahead…
Les Français are one week into it, and the UK is going in deeper, more and more so here are my top tips:
Adopt a positive mental approach to isolation; create a daily structured program; don’t focus on next six weeks, focus on today; do exercise DAILY; enjoy spending quality time with your companions; start creating things; get back to reading; develop your citizenship; do DIY and unfinished projects; catch up on QUALITY sleep; learn to LISTEN and support; spend ONLY 1 hour a day getting C19 updates; use your common sense and initiative; eat health food and DON’T JUST watch videos!
Domestic violence, boredom and loneliness are some of the big issues many of us will face. So we all need to accept and be empathetic to those around us.
IT WILL BE A LONELY ROAD AT TIMES BUT ALWAYS BELIEVE IN THE BEAUTY AHEAD...
Big hugs and stay POSITIVE!
1. ADOPT A POSITIVE MENTAL APPROACH TO ISOLATION - for the first time YOU are now TIME RICH – so look at self-isolation as an opportunity NOT a threat. We WILL get through this. 100%. But use this unique time to catch up on a myriad of projects (see below). In turn you will also BOOST your immune system by staying calm, NOT panicking and so reducing your body’s production of Cortisol (primary stress hormone) which suppresses the immune system.
2. CREATE A DAILY STRUCTURED PROGRAM - For you and your companions if you have them. A daily programme will allow you to use this time period (maybe as long as six months) creatively and positively. Structure and routine reduce stress, conflict, and depression. Work on your own self-discipline and involve those around you where possible. This will help us all feel more normal and get through this period. DO NOT focus on eight weeks or whatever the self-isolation is. Focus on each day.
3. DAILY EXERCISE: Every day, if possible, start the morning with a quality period (30 mins minimum) of exercise that increases your heart rate. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling. Morning exercise is good because:
• Morning exercisers have few scheduling conflicts
• Morning exercisers are more likely to stick with their regime
• Morning exercisers have better sleep.
• Morning exercisers lose weight quicker
• Morning exercisers are more productive
For Type 1 Diabetics: You have your lowest insulin level on waking (prebreakfast), so you have the lowest risk of hypoglycaemia. It’s a good time to exercise.
“Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes exercise; challenges and benefits.” Dr. Rob Andrews – Exeter University
4. ENJOY SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR COMPANIONS – prepare and cook together; read together; play card and board games together; work together as a unit even if you hate the person opposite you. And try and learn to love and learn with them. This will help reduce domestic violence which I think will be one of the biggest issues with self-isolating.
5. START CREATING STUFF: Arts and crafts, writing, photo albums, recycling materials to produce sculptures etc. Mend your clothing and make it look beautiful and uniquely your own. Have fun customising your clothing, and the items you use every day. Everyone has an artistic side to some degree. This is YOUR opportunity to use it!
6. GET BACK TO READING: Reading is great. I am the worst reader but have started to read again and boy does it open up a whole new world. Escape from your self-isolation into a world of fantasy! If you don’t understand a word google it. So, learn and develop your brain by reading. Your brain is ultimately the ONLY thing that will keep you sane and Reading nourishes it.
7. DEVELOP YOUR SENSE OF CITIZENSHIP: Help those around you in distress where possible. Say nice things to neighbours, whilst keeping your distance, and look at them as they pass by. Ask the handicapped or elderly in your street if they need help. Join an online community help centre. Contact family members you have stopped communicating with. We don’t normally have the time to help others. Now we do! When you help others you help yourself, because it makes you feel useful, and gives you a sense of purpose.
8. DO DIY AND UNCOMPLETED PROJECTS: This is an ideal opportunity to finish your garden shed, or mend broken items you have been looking at for years! Paint, decorate, repair, modernise and improve your home with any materials you can get hold off. Have fun by involving those around you, and work together. And when finished, sit back together and laugh at the mess you have just created!
9. CATCH UP ON QUALITY SLEEP: Don’t abuse it but work on getting a full eight hours of quality sleep each night. If you can’t then create sections in your schedule when you can have a quality nap and not get disturbed by children, pets, TV, or your mansplaining companion. Good sleep is as important as nourishing food. Spend time on trying to create good, sustainable sleep patterns. It takes discipline.
10. LEARN TO LISTEN AND SUPPORT: Be aware of the effect on those around you. Learn to listen and avoid man or woman splaining; research suggests that men will dominate 75% of the conversation during conference meetings. But we are not at the office. So be empathetic to who is controlling who and try to maintain a balance where you are living. Listening and supporting are techniques to help reduce, avoid or stop domestic violence. But be kind on yourself and those around you and give space to everyone’s emotions.
11. SPEND ONE HOUR A DAY GETTING COVID UPDATES. Don’t spend all day on this but select quality sources of information relevant to your specific situation, stay informed, and act on it. THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B9_CFeLA3pI/…
12. USE COMMON SENSE AND INITIATIVE: Everyone is in a different situation, so act according to your specific needs and situation. This period of self-isolation starts with YOU. What can YOU do to make YOUR and YOUR loved one’s situation as optimal and sustainable as YOU can without negatively affecting others.
BOTTOM LINE 1: The vast majority of us WILL get through this. But to do so we need to change our mindset towards COVID 19; we must start getting used to, and enjoying ACTIVE rather than PASSIVE enjoyment, and learn to use our brains. In 2017 the average U.S. consumer spent 238 minutes (3h 58min) daily watching TV. My climbing friends will tell you creating your own enjoyment is SOOOOOOO much better than just being entertained by someone/thing else. It is harder but ultimately so much more rewarding and beneficial.
BOTTOM LINE 2: COVID is giving us the opportunity to change our world for the better. This virus could make our planet a better, more sustainable place to live, less air travel, more exercise, less passivity, more responsibility, better citizenship, more functional families, higher levels of common sense and intellect, and ultimately better planetary people. This is OUR TIME to prepare for a better future. So please USE IT WISELY!